‘Embrace internet for development’

Ivan Zhakata Herald Correspondent

Women have been urged to embrace the internet to raise awareness of women’s voices and projects on Wikipedia.

Wikipedia in conjunction with Zimbabwe Library Association (Zimla) on Saturday held a workshop in Harare dubbed “She Said” aimed at raising awareness of women’s voices on Wikipedia.

The workshop was organised by Wikipedian and Zimla member Ms Morleen Bortman and Zimla president-elect Mr Macdonald Nhakura. Ms Bortman said a lot of projects by women have gone without being given due publicity on Wikipedia and other related platforms.

She said the workshop was aimed at scaling up efforts to recognise and reward women’s efforts and boost their visibility on Wikipedia.

“‘Zimbabwe Wiki Loves Women, She Said’ workshop is all about uploading what women are saying in different spheres of life,” Ms Bortman said.

“Not much is being said about women and this workshop is to bolster women as they do different things in different areas in Zimbabwe. Wikipedia’s representation of women is very low in terms of women contribution and this workshop is to put women on the map.

“Through ‘She Said’ we are quoting what Zimbabwean women have said in different spheres of life, work places and activities. It is about making people aware of women’s contribution and what they are doing. We would want to upload the quotes about what different are saying in Zimbabwe referencing them with authentic sources.”

Ms Bortman said WikiLoves activities just started in Zimbabwe and not much has been said about Zimbabwean women.

She said they will be looking at everything that has been said and done by women in Zimbabwe and post it on the Wikipedia to boost their visibility on the internet.

Mr Nhakura said the campaign has also attracted male counterparts who were joining hands with women’s projects operating under WikiLove.

“It was felt that Zimbabwean information was not well represented on the Wikipedia platform but now they are rolling out various programmes focusing on the women. It is not only women who are driving their cause, even us men we are also participating in the programme, finding quotes and looking at the various distinguished things which women did them uploading them on Wikipedia,” he said.

The workshop adopted a blended approach and also attracted virtual presentations from Uganda and Cape Town in South Africa.

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